Andy Shuping's Reviews > Cats are Weird and More Observations

Cats are Weird and More Observations by Jeffrey Brown
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Apr 16, 12

bookshelves: graphic-novel

In the past few years it seems like cats and cat related humor have been a popular topic to depict, although not always successfully. While this may not seem like a typical type of book that most folks would want to pick up, Jeffrey Brown has quickly become one of my favorite writers/illustrators after I read The Incredible Change-Bots and its sequel, and he brings his own unique illustration style and observations to the world of cats. And I for one thoroughly enjoyed it (and yes I do have two cats…)

If you own a cat, been around a cat, or even just watched a video of cat you’ll realize quickly that Jeffrey Brown quickly captures the essence of almost every cat you’ll ever encounter in this short book (and you’ll wonder if he’s been observing them in your home.) Using minimal words, Brown depicts those everyday little actions of cats and how they interact with the world around them. This book doesn’t have a “story” to it, but instead one or two pages devoted to a specific cat movement, such as how when they’re sitting on your legs and you move they give you that look. You know the one that says your a cushion and you shouldn’t be moving around. Brown captures that look perfectly in just a few short panels, even getting the eye movement just right. Some of my favorite pages are the two cats play fighting each other and then stealing the owners spot on the couch; the battle of the vacuum cleaner; and cat hiding in the cabinet. But the whole book is well done.

When I first started reading Jeffrey Brown’s work, one of his autobiographical comics, I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan of his loose, sketchy drawing style but it’s grown on me since then. In this book Brown uses the same style he brought to The Incredible Change-Bots–a loose style drawn with markers, to capture the movement of cats. He uses both color and black and white to depict the various habits of cats to great effectiveness often making me wonder if he had been watching my own cats. Brown gets those little details that make the movement, the hesitation, the look in the eye, the puffing of the fur down to a T. Although the cats themselves are not depicted in a photo-realism style, these movements make them come to life.

Even if you don’t own a cat, this is still a book that I think of lot of people can get enjoyment out of. Brown does an excellent job of capturing the little nuances and movements that make a cat a cat. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has ever had a cat, encountered a cat, or just anyone who wanted to know a bit more about cats or someone that just needs a smile on a rainy day. 5 out of 5 stars.
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